Original Contribution

European Journal of Nutrition

, Volume 50, Issue 6, pp 391-400

First online:

Markers of metabolic syndrome in obese children before and after 1-year lifestyle intervention program

  • C. PedrosaAffiliated withFaculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of University of PortoDepartment of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Hospital Infante D. Pedro, EPE Email author 
  • , B. M. P. M. OliveiraAffiliated withFaculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of University of Porto
  • , I. AlbuquerqueAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Hospital Infante D. Pedro, EPE
  • , C. Simões-PereiraAffiliated withDepartment of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Nutrition, Hospital Infante D. Pedro, EPE
  • , M. D. Vaz-de-AlmeidaAffiliated withFaculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of University of Porto
  • , F. CorreiaAffiliated withFaculty of Nutrition and Food Sciences of University of PortoDepartment of Endocrinology, Hospital de S. João.

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Abstract

Purpose

Excess weight may be related to the development of adverse cardiometabolic risk factors in children. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of a lifestyle intervention program (nutrition and exercise counseling) on anthropometric parameters and metabolic syndrome (MS) components in Portuguese overweight/obese children.

Methods

A total of 83 overweight/obese children aged 7–9 years were assigned to a 1-year individual or group-based treatment (GT); 61 children (z-score BMI (zBMI): 1.93 ± 0.28; 27 boys and 34 girls) completed the program. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were assessed at baseline, at 6 months and at 1 year.

Results

The overweight/obese children, compared to normal-weight ones, presented significantly higher blood pressure, total-cholesterol, total-cholesterol/high density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL) ratio, triglycerides, Apolipoprotein B and C-reactive protein levels, while HDL and Apolipoprotein A-I were significantly lower. At baseline, the prevalence of MS was 16.4% in overweight/obese and 0% in normal-weight children. The number of components of MS was significantly higher in children with higher zBMI. Lifestyle intervention led to a significant improvement in zBMI, waist circumference/height ratio, HDL, triglycerides, Apolipoprotein A-I, and Apolipoprotein B levels. The prevalence of MS decreased to 14.8%. The GT intervention seems to be more successful, with a significant decrease in zBMI and an increase in HDL and a lower drop-out rate.

Conclusions

Overweight/obese children have multiple risk factors associated with the MS. Lifestyle intervention, both individual and group-based treatment, led to an improvement in the degree of overweight/obesity and in MS components.

Keywords

Children Metabolic syndrome Obesity Nutrition Lifestyle intervention